Citizenship, Immigration, and Legal Services (CILS)
As a DOJ accredited organization, we assist immigrants at varying stages of the immigration process, providing wide array of application services: citizenship, adjustment of status, Consular processing, family petition, re-entry permit and the smaller steps in between (passport, interpretation and “Green Card” renewal and replacement. The program provides fee waiver application service for clients who cannot afford the USCIS application fee. We have adapted an online citizenship program, CitizenshipWorks, for those who can complete the citizenship application online with little or no help. HANA is also providing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) application assistance and renewal services.
The HANA housing program addresses barriers to affordable housing faced by Korean and other immigrants via one-on-one counseling, information and referral services and we host workshops in related areas. The goal of the program is to aid immigrants having limited English proficiency (LEP) to access to affordable housing, understand tenant-landlord rights, fair housing law and find resources for homeowners. The HANA housing program also helps low to moderate income families to remain in their homes via financial planning or even post-purchase education. Our housing program also assists LEP seniors to explore housing options through public housing lists and aid completing senior housing applications. We are a Housing and Urban Development certified housing counseling agency.
Immigrants have great difficulty in accessing or understanding the United States legal system. In addition to the significant monetary barrier for low income families, immigrants also face difficulties in securing legal services that are linguistically and culturally competent. They are often left with no option but self-representation, despite having no legal training or support. This situation too often results in individuals unable to communicate with court officers or read and interpret court documents and notices. To address the base language barrier, they bring friends or their children to provide translation, but as these translators are also unfamiliar with legal terminology, interpretations are often fraught with errors. While low-income immigrants have a great need for legal services, particularly in the areas of immigration, housing, credit and finance, domestic violence, and employment law, they are unable to meet these challenges. Our free legal clinic volunteer attorneys provide initial direction, advise and understanding in Spanish, Korean and English.
Intern or volunteers needed
Immigration, Legal and Housing Services Department is part of the wide variety of services HANA hosts for the low English proficiency immigrants. We are in need of bilingual (Korean and Spanish speaking in addition to English) interns or volunteers to work on and learn immigration issues, housing needs and processes, Legal Clinic and a host of administrative and hands-on office duties.
Plans for the future: come assist our department, help us convert paper records to data storage, or build the outreach to distant communities, or add depth to our housing assistance, or gather data on which to base our next steps or … there is no end to what your high energy can build.